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Am J Surg Pathol. 2002 Apr;26(4):486-92.

C-kit expression in pediatric solid tumors: a comparative immunohistochemical study.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Tennessee Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee, USA.


The stem cell factor/c-kit tyrosine kinase receptor pathway has been shown to be important for tumor growth and progression in several cancers, including mast cell diseases, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, acute myeloid leukemia, small cell lung carcinoma, and Ewing sarcoma. Studies using the oral agent STI-571 (Gleevec, Novartis), an inhibitor of the tyrosine kinases bcr-abl, c-kit, and PDGFR, have shown significant responses in patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia and gastrointestinal stromal tumor. With the aim of identifying additional groups of tumors that may use the stem cell factor/c-kit pathway and secondarily may be responsive to STI-571 treatment, this study surveyed 151 primary tumors from patients treated at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for immunohistochemical expression of c-kit. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections were stained with rabbit polyclonal anti-human c-kit (CD117, Dako) using standard avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique, antigen retrieval, and an automated stainer. Strong, diffuse staining for c-kit was seen in a proportion of synovial sarcomas, osteosarcomas, and Ewing sarcomas. Strong, diffuse staining was less common in neuroblastomas, Wilms' tumors, and rhabdomyosarcomas and was negative in alveolar soft part sarcomas and desmoplastic small round cell tumors. Tumors with strong, diffuse staining for c-kit in a pattern similar to gastrointestinal stromal tumor may represent suitable targets for new therapeutic agents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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